Don’t forget your BRAND in a media interview
Companies invest significant amounts of time and money into developing, building and launching brands. In a completely overcrowded and cluttered market which beams out a gazillion messages to us each day, we need to determine ways in which we can stand out from the crowd.
One very important way to ensure you stand out is a bit of know-how when it comes to making reference to your brand. This can easily be done during media interviews.
I have outlined below some tips and slip-ups that I keep noticing during media interviews with clients that should help you out.
- First of all, when you have the opportunity to participate in a media interview, don’t refer to “we do this”, “we do that” or even worse “I” like to approach this particular issue in this way. Don’t use we or I, even if you are the CEO of the business. You are employed by a brand and your job within each media engagement is to promote the brand as best you can. Instead, use your company name, at “XX company we do this”, “XX company’s view on this kind of practice is….”
- Use the brand name as much as possible (within reason) during your interview. This is a golden opportunity to get your company's name placed into a potential article, perhaps many times and (if you are clever) into the article headline.
- Whatever you do, during an interview, don’t mention the names of your competitors brands. It gives them free airtime that they don’t need. Also, if a journalist asks you a question about your competitor, don’t repeat the competitors’ name when responding to the question. Again, it gives them further profile that should be reserved for you.
- Keep it human and not overly robotic in the way you incorporate your brand name during an interview. While you are practising this, you may even like to jot down the number of times you have said your company name during an interview so you can cross that off your list and get back to being focused on being engaging and responsive.
So, make sure you reference your company name during all media interviews as the alternative is that the company you represent might be referred to in a generic way in the article. This does not help to build the brand and makes it difficult for readers to remember your company name.
How to shine during media interviews
Do you sit on the sidelines of a media interview discussion? Do you hope that the journalist will ask you all of the questions you have prepared for? Do you hope the journalist will avoid the questions you can’t answer, or haven’t prepared for?
Try not to fall into the trap of leaving an interview saying “wow, I wished they had asked me X or explored Y in more detail”. The large majority of the interview is up to you. It is the journalist’s job to ask the questions, yet your role is to give thoughtful considered and “key-message” based responses.
You are completely responsible for getting across your key messages during an interview and do this early on. Do not leave the interview until your messages have been effectively communicated. If you feel you have left out some integral information or a point you really wanted to make fell flat during the interview, feel free to contact the journalist with appropriate, succinct follow up information after the interview is complete.
There are many tools you can use to get your messages across and you can do this in a polite yet persuasive manner. You are not just participating in a media interview to sit back and respond to questions from a journalist, you are participating in a media interview to provide content. Your content.